05/13/2014 2:20PM

Bernier: 4 trainer angles for Wednesday at Belmont


Guest handicapper Matt Bernier uses DRF Formulator to take a closer look at trainer patterns related to Wednesday’s card at Belmont Park.

Race 2

Dexter Cheesestake (6-1 ML) may not look like much on paper, but the key to this gelding Wednesday may be his new owner/trainer Michelle Nevin.

Formulator Fact:  Over the past two years Nevin is hitting at a dazzling 86 percent (6 for 7, $5.17 ROI) when it comes to horses in maiden claiming events that she claimed last out. Dexter Cheesestake  faded after ranging up four wide on the far turn last month at Aqueduct, so the turnback from a mile to seven furlongs today should be beneficial.

England figures to be the heavy favorite for trainer David Jacobsen with Javier Castellano aboard, and I’m not sure it’s entirely warranted. He’s failed at short prices in all three of his lifetime efforts, and with the exception of his debut at Calder, he hasn’t looked like a winner at any point during his past two tries. He’s a play against in my book.

Race 4

Trainer Gary Gullo is off to a fast start at the Belmont spring/summer meeting, but you may want to tread lightly with one of his runners here – Reggie D (6-1 ML).

Formulator Fact: Over the past five years, Gullo is 1 for 10 with an ROI of $1.00 (with six in-the-money finishes) when it comes to horses sprinting after he’s claimed them from a last-out victory. The number of times he’s had runners finish in the money is especially significant in this race, as Reggie D has run second seven times in 24 career starts. This is a horse that is likely best used underneath, if at all.

Race 7

If you’re thinking about using Treasury Devil (6-1 ML) on top, there may be a slight cause for pause.

Formulator Fact: Over the past five years, Formulator shows that when jockey Joel Rosario teams up with top turf trainer Christophe Clement on a horse that is making its first start off a layoff in a grass route, they’re just 2 for 24 (13 ITM) with an ROI of $0.55. That being said, this is a stat that could be used to your advantage – while this combination has burned plenty of money in similar situations on the win front, it may be in your best interest to use them underneath to round out exotics.

Race 9

Sleek (6-1 ML) stretches out to a route of ground for the first time in this contentious statebred maiden special weight for trainer Mike Hushion. Jose Ortiz gets the mount on this daughter of Bernardini, and that is noteworthy.

Formulator Fact: Going to the trainer pattern section of Formulator shows that when Hushion and Ortiz team up with a horse going from a sprint to a route, they’re 4 for 11 (7 ITM) with an ROI of $3.41 over the past five years. In a race that seems as though it could go any number of ways, a proven jockey-trainer team is always a positive angle.

Matt Bernier is a 24-year-old handicapper and cast member of the reality-show “Horseplayers” that airs on the Esquire Network. Matt won the very first handicapping tournament he entered in October 2012 and hasn't looked back since. In 2013, he was one of the youngest qualifiers at the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.